Recently, in Europe, protesting groups of women have been demanding the freedom to wear restrictive attire (burqa, hijab). The controversy started in France with the proposed ban on the traditional head wear . Shortly thereafter, Germany started struggling with its own version of the controversial French law. This divisive issue unlike any other in our recent times has sparked a heated debate overlapping religion, culture, oppression, freedom, judgement and mass psychology. This has lead to a dilemma for European leaders in reconciling the demands of group of people with its own democratic principals.
This has happened many times throughout the history , albeit in different forms and various masks. Here we will explore a historical parallel .
Dr. Wilhelm Reich’s book, The Function of the Orgasm states “Hitler promised male supremacy. Women were to be relegated to the kitchen at home, denied the possibility of material independence and be excluded from the process of molding social life. Women whose personal freedom had been suppressed for centuries and who had developed an especially strong fear of leading an independent existence were the foremost in hailing him,… Intense longing for freedom on the part of masses,plus the fear of the responsibility which freedom entails produces fascistic mentality, whether this longing and fear are found in a Fascist or in a Democrat,…The masses of people affirmed and concretely implemented their own suppression. The need for authority proved to be stronger than the will to independence.”
The Women who cheered for Hitler in the 1930’s and 1940’s and in doing so voted for their own restrictions are the same women that today in France and Germany are demanding their own restrictions in a different dress. These women, distanced by time and different in many features share a common basic element with each other. They are both structurally incapable of attaining freedom. Both groups of women suffer from structural restrictions within themselves which we call emotional armoring.
The process of armoring was discovered by Dr. Wilhelm Reich and has been described in detail in orgonomic literature and in the Journal of Psychiatric Orgone Therapy. Physical and psychological armoring occurs in children and adolescents, as they struggle with their oppressive environment and sexually repressive family upbringings. The clash of primary instinctual desires with outer prohibitions is what leads to armoring. The stronger and more vicious the oppression, the more profound the armoring.
Armoring of the organism distorts its primary and natural impulses and impedes the flow of Biological Eneregy- Orgone energy- from the core to the periphery. Armoring changes the primary drives and distorts them into secondary manifestations.
This then becomes the source of neurotic symptoms that disturb and agonize the inflicted individual. Primary biological energy that seeks expansion and expression also gets distorted into destructive, sadistic actions towards society. Reich called this “the emotional plague”. Armored men and women become full of contradictions within themselves. They become helpless and incapable of freedom because they become trapped from within. They loose the ability to make decisions based on their primary desires and they seek authority to make decision for them. Their primary desires and wishes become distorted and manifest in irrational ways causing their own suffering. Then soon they hate anyone who reminds them of freedom that they once so ardently desired and finally would prosecute and murder anyone who speaks about it.
European leaders are now scratching their heads about how to resolve this conflict. However, to those familiar with orgonomy and the work of Dr. Reich, this conflict comes as no surprise.
Reich says, in the book Reich Speaks of Freud, “I don’t believe that there will be any solution to any social problem as long as children and adolescents grow up with stasis of biological energy….You can’t impose freedom on the ruined bioenergetic system of children”.
Human psychological structure which is shaped in a mutilating authoritarian family, creates the potential for self destructive irrational actions. Case in point are the women who today are hailing for the right to wear restrictive attire. Knowledge of this process is essential for those who intend to introduce democratic change, establish freedom and foster human dignity.
It is therefore essential,from our point of view, for our leaders and those who long for democracy to familiarize themselves with the principals of orgonomy in relation to the human psyche. Without such knowledge nothing will change and we will witness the repetition of history again and again.